Ended much sooner from what people ate, as manure on the fields again. With toilet and sewage system, this natural nutrient cycle was interrupted. But it does not stay that way. Scientists develop new toilet systems where the excrement is collected in order to produce fertile humus. It is the modern form of a process, with the already improved a former Indian culture in the Amazon, their soils.
Tim Branson knows his stuff with flush toilets, central sewage treatment plants and three stage. But he also knows that such systems are not fit anywhere in the world as a sanitation solution. For they are far too expensive and go wasteful with water. New ideas are needed.
“The need in many parts of the world is huge toilets. There are two billion people in the world who really have no proper toilets, or just what the contaminate even the groundwater. Where it is now especially important that you find toilets which are very simple and inexpensive, yet very comfortable. Even the poor people of the world have very high expectations. ”
Together with his staff, Tim Branson has been thinking might look like such a toilet. It quickly became clear: you must have a seat, collect the feces in a container and operate without a water supply. In addition, they must of course be used indoors, so no unpleasant odors spread.
“We’re working on it now to develop toilets that go a little bit in the direction, as we know it as a camping toilets. Only that they are no longer running with chemistry.”
In normal camping toilets chemical additives are used to disinfect the collected urine and faeces and to prevent bad smells. However, these chemicals are readily biodegradable. Thus creating a new waste disposal problem. The producers opted for a different solution: After every toilet, the sewage with a liquid culture of lactobacilli inoculated from a spray bottle. Fresh sauerkraut juice does it for that matter.
“Lactobacilli are well known in the production of yoghurt. They are also in our intestinal flora, are used in the silage in agriculture. So it is a lactic acid fermentation. Become lactobacilli used, there’s no odor and we have a very, very good sanitation . ”
Thus, the fermentation processes get under way, the toilet must have a substantially airtight lid. When you see him up close and opens it, only a subtle, slightly sour smell can be perceived. And will remain so even if the feces for several weeks in Klobehälter store. In regular use, but more frequent emptying is required. “Then, the content of these toilets are collected via suction truck or exchange of containers. And that can lead to a production of terra preta-compost.”
Terra preta is to be the end product of this sanitary solution. It is a particularly stable form of fertile top soil. The manufacturing process has developed an earlier Indian culture in the Amazon centuries ago, but the knowledge was lost. Just a few years ago, researchers have decoded the recipe: Organic waste composting process at the same time exclusively. As a special addition is added still fine charcoal. One ends up with a black earth, which is ideal as a soil conditioner for agriculture. Tim Branson want to close this way the nutrient cycle of our food again.
“We have a big huge world population. Getting the food from areas that usually are not where people live. The challenge now is the excrement, but also animal wastes from cities, and from cities to collect in a form that because we can hold back the soil where our food comes from, more fertile. ”
Tim Branson believes that the plumbing systems of entire cities could be directed in the future to the production of terra preta. This lot is part of logistics. The pre-fermented excrement from the house toilets must be collected and then refined in central composting facilities to terra preta. Then, the nutrient-rich substrate would run on fields around the city. The townsmen in turn could relate of this extremely fertile land most of their fresh foods. The cycle would be closed.